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Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 01:37 PM
I recently bought a 6 yr old Hanoverian/TB gelding as a hunter prospect. Issues I saw during the trial ride were ones I thought a. I could fix and b. were mostly due to lack of riding

Turns out, I was wrong :dead: Lesson learned but now I have a horse on my hands that definitely wants to be a jumper and I have limited experience in that arena. My trainer is my mother & she's very busy with her paying clients so my horses always get pushed to the back of the line.

The horse is a forward going, powerful horse. He can be dog quiet on the flat and over a few little jumps (hence the reason I thought he could be a hunter) but lights up over courses or as soon as the jumps go up.

This is my question: When the horse wants to build too much to the jump; do I let him in hopes that he will learn to back himself off or do I hold him for the distance I want. This horse also has a habit of throwing his body into the air when the jumps start to go up instead of rocking back. I've tried gymnastics and he's better but still tends to jump up too high with his body.

Back in my teenage years, I remember setting fences for a BNT jumper rider and he consistently rode the horse right to the base which I assumed was to teach the horse to rock back. I've tried that with this horse but he builds so much on the approach that he ends up with too much pace & jumps with his shoulder from the momentum. Or he puts 3 strides in front of the jump where he should be putting 4 - he's still at the base when he takes off but obviously with too much step.

If I hold him together more; he can't build as much but he still pulls me past where I want him to be on the take-off. Should I just hike up the fence & let him clobber it once or twice? Don't want to scare him (nothing much phases him though) but I also want him to figure it out a little on his own instead of relying on his rider to set it up for him.

One exercise I thought might help is landing and take-off rails over square oxers at about 3'3". This will help the building issue but I don't think it will address the throwing the body issue. One thing at a time perhaps?

Thoughts?

I added a few pics so you can get an idea of what I am trying to explain:

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2357964790097913210VnDgGp

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2080929150097913210QIwZRr

I know, I know - I'm jumping ahead - really & truthfully, sometimes I feel like I just want to get OFF his back; he's so powerful that I feel like if I stay back [I][I]where I should be:lol:, he'll launch me.

Ok, I decided to be brave and post a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWSUeHoHy8E

I don't normally flat him so easily.

dags
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:10 PM
I can see why you wanted him to be a hunter :) Very cute.

But, I get two impressions: A) He's one of those deer style jumpers - kind of a bit old school (I have an image of black & white picture of a calvary guy, one-handed tight release, looking back to watch the hind end clear the jump in my head), everything's about the hind end, front-end be damned, or... B) something about the film gives me a feeling he's back sore (tail, lack of extension at the trot, seems to fuss when contact is taken up)

Will say I think the triple is set a bit long for him and that's only encouraging the style... but, if you are coming in collected in an effort to keep him from rushing, then he's probably rushing to make it down the line

sptraining
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:20 PM
He doesn't look that bad!

I would work a lot more on the flat getting him to be much more responsive. Forward and back, upward and downward transitions. He likes to poke his nose out and go a little flat - so you're going to have to work a bit.

Over fences, you try to carry a pace that's just a little too conservative for the type of horse/height of fences. Don't be afraid of the pace. I would also place ground lines out a little from the base of the fence - it helps young horses learn where to take off. I would also probably put a bounce pole, or one stride pole before or after to teach him to properly balance himself to and from the fence. Raise the fences gradually during the work out so it's not such a drastic difference for you and the horse to go from 2' warm up to 3'3 oxers. Also make sure to keep your body quiet - if you move a bit too much, it'll throw the horse off and make him jump faster.

I just finished re-reading Klimke's book on Cavalletti. There's a lot of great tips and very specific instruction on how to use them and the basics of teaching a horse to jump. It's a short read and pretty easy to get through. I'd recommend it. :)

Oh and if he were mine, he'd be on a diet! Haha. Pulling the weight off can have some athletic advantages. ;)

He's not bad though! :)

MumboJumbo
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:27 PM
Isn't this horse for sale? Are you selling him because he isn't suitable as a hunter?

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the response.

I've had the chiro. check him over b/c I wondered about that too (he'd gone from a couple rides a week to a full schedule with jumping higher than he used to) and he isn't sore...just opinionated. I kind of chalk it up to his personality, which he has a lot of ;) He's kind of bullish to handle & he's surprisingly sensitive to leg.

I've been trying to be non-interfering when I've been flatting him (which is probably why he's not extending the trot since I'm barely touching him with my leg :lol:) but I think it's time to get into him a little. He's much happier now than when I first got him and he's getting ridden more consistently so he needs to learn to start accepting more training. I'm not too worried about it as even though he can be a lot of horse; he's not disobedient and in general, he likes to please.

And his jumping style...sigh...it is what it is.

but, if you are coming in collected in an effort to keep him from rushing, then he's probably rushing to make it down the line

This is my whole issue - if I let him go forward; he eats it up and jumps over his shoulder. So, as you see in the video, I hold him off a bit which yes, makes the lines longer but I suspect if I didn't, he'd be jumping THROUGH the triple.

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:34 PM
Isn't this horse for sale? Are you selling him because he isn't suitable as a hunter?

There's a no advertising policy on this forum which is why the video I posted does not mention he is for sale but yes, he is not suitable for what I wanted...but I still have to ride him which is why I posted this thread.

And thanks for the advice sptraining! It's funny you mention the pace - when I do get my mother to watch me for a minute; she's always harping on me about the pace :lol: It's my hunter background - I just want it to be nice and flowy :lol: And I will definitely pick up the book.

And as to his weight....the vet just told me the same thing! :cool: But I like nice fat hunters!!!

amt813
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:35 PM
I agree with almost all of what sptraining has to say.

On the flat you allow him to go around at the same pace the whole time. Work on the flat on making him go forward and collect. When riding a jumper over jumps you are not going to go one single slow pace the whole time - so make sure you start with the adjustibility on the flat. It might help you to to work on making him a little more compact - bring his hind end under him a little bit more.

It looks to me like you are trying to canter way to slowly around the corners - try carrying more pace in the turn and then allowing your horse to slow down a little bit to the jumps. As the jumps get bigger you might have to reverse your ride a little bit and ride up to the jumps a bit more, but at this height the jumps probably won't hold him much.

Finally, I think that your body is encouraging him to speed up in front of the jumps and off the ground. Stay further back with your body and allow your horse to jump up to you. Also, you release seems a bit exaggerated over some of the jumps - perhaps a shorter release would work better.

Beethoven
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:38 PM
That sounds a lot like my mare. She is a TB and part of the issue was that she thought she was right. If I tried to tell her to wait she would grab the bit even harder run past the distance and clobber the fence. If when she went to grab the bit, I dropped her she would leave the fence up but it was kinda scary at times. :lol:

What I figured out with her thought it that fighting her was the worst thing to do. I had to teach her what I wanted. I went back to my flat work to get her much more adjustable in the canter, so she would understand that I wanted her to collect her stride. This helped a bunch! I also put placement poles on either side of a trot jump and raised it slowly. This helped her learn to rock back and used the hind end.

She is probably the smartest horse I have ever ridden which is good and bad. She learns quick, but I also have to prove to her that my way is better than her way. Did I mention she is an alpha mare. She is a trip though. BUT she is getting it! Listen to me getting to the base and rocking back. On the occasion that she tries to take over and I know its not going to end good, I just let her and hang on. We are not jumping huge, so no worries of us getting hurt, more just an ugly fence. The next time we head to the jump, she decides to listen to me and it works out much better.

She is a trip and my first horse that I have done from the ground up and not an easy one at that.

She however does lift her front end and doesn't have the deer jump so to speak like your horse. She can be slow with it on the pat the ground distances as she is still really learning to rock back, but its coming!

I agree that I would work him on smaller set triple to encourage him to rock back and use himself. Truthfully though, I would go back to flat work. I also thought he may be sore somewhere. Also placement poles as suggested in the above post would be good as well. They allow you to let him teach himself what to do instead of fighting with him.

Good luck, he is super cute. :D

sptraining
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:49 PM
The toughest thing I had to learn for the eq was to let my horse canter forward. It felt like we were speeding, but once I got comfortable at that pace, my horse jumped better and it was easier to get the spots. I still to this day prefer to have the horse go collected and quiet and have to remind myself that they need a little more pace to get around nicely.

Roll out those groundlines and play with cavallettis. Seriously. The beauty is that it takes *you* out of the equation. Set up "learning exercises" and let him figure it out on his own. Slowly take away the crutches and voila, problem solved. It won't happen overnight, but it'll happen a lot faster than trying to get him to listen to you. Training is all about setting up good habits so create situations in which he can develop good habits.

Pulling the weight off him too will help him and he *might* just jump a bit better. I knew a horse that was heavy like yours and he had a horrible time trying to get around the ring. Pulled off 200lbs and he was moving 100x better...

Seriously though, he's not that bad. I've seen way worse. And have seen way worse get fixed. :)

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:53 PM
Also, you release seems a bit exaggerated over some of the jumps - perhaps a shorter release would work better.

More contact off the ground? I wondered about this - I've seen some jumper riders almost "pick" their horse up off the ground in front of the jump. I was hoping that if he had his head and I got him to the base that he would rock back but I don't think that's going to happen.

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:58 PM
Seriously though, he's not that bad. I've seen way worse. And have seen way worse get fixed. :)

Thank you! I'll admit I've been pretty discouraged with him - he didn't turn out at all how I thought he would (my bad for not reading him better) and the whole jumping style thing :sigh: I thought I could get him to jump better and I may yet still, but he's NEVER going to snap his knees. I guess as long as he's careful and ridable; it won't matter so much at the lower levels.

Tha Ridge
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:06 PM
From your description, I was expecting much, much worse. He does bid a little to the fence, but he looks rideable the stride or two afterward, which is better than a lot of horses.

I don't think he's hopeless as a hunter. Like others have said, you need to carry more pace and then he won't seem to rush as much.

I'd do some gymnastics, set fairly short, to get that front end working... Trot in to a big rampy crossrail, bounce to a vertical, and one stride to a Swedish will do wonders for him, I'd think.

JimmyChoo22
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:14 PM
My junior jumper was so forward and our of control that my trainer frequently had me walk into gymnastics and if he was really being a pud, I'd have to halt him in the middle of a line and walk out of the line. We never walked anything bigger than 3'6" or so, but it was the only way to get the "Red B@stard" to slow his body and mind down. I use this trick frequently with babies who get too ahead of themselves at ground rails or tiny X's and it works wonders.

sptraining
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:30 PM
Thank you! I'll admit I've been pretty discouraged with him - he didn't turn out at all how I thought he would (my bad for not reading him better) and the whole jumping style thing :sigh: I thought I could get him to jump better and I may yet still, but he's NEVER going to snap his knees. I guess as long as he's careful and ridable; it won't matter so much at the lower levels.

My eq horse had a somewhat unconventional style of jumping (http://www.youtube.com/sptrainingstables#p/a/u/0/9mChRlBkHEo) but he still made a good eq/jumper horse. Just couldn't get him deep to anything if you wanted it to look pretty. ;)

He might not ever snap up those knees like a six figure hunter, but there's still a huge market for things that are nice, sane, and safe. The best thing you can do is make him nice for someone else by putting solid experience and a brain on him.

And don't be discouraged. Warmbloods don't grow up until they're 7 or 8. I'm pretty convinced that with most of them, you're just biding your time and putting good solid miles on them until they reach that age. It just takes some of them longer to figure out their job.

amt813
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:45 PM
More contact off the ground? I wondered about this - I've seen some jumper riders almost "pick" their horse up off the ground in front of the jump. I was hoping that if he had his head and I got him to the base that he would rock back but I don't think that's going to happen.

I am not really referring to "picking" your horse of the ground - he seems to have plenty of jump to jump the height that you are at.

My observations from watching the video is that he seems to get a bit quick before the jump and then quick across the jump, flattening out. He also is a little slow and drapy up front, which could result in having rails.

It appears to me that at some jumps you would throw your body and hands up his neck - which only encourages the flat, quick, skimming across the jump jump.

I think most important is that you have to first slow your body down, and stay a bit more open over the jumps and allow your horse to jump up to you. However, you might also try a shorter release to slow his jump down a bit and not allow him to get so quick across the jumps. By throwing your hands and body forward in an exaggerated matter is not helping your horse to rock back and jump up - but only to get quicker and skim across the jumps. I think you need to try to keep him on his hind end as he leaves the ground, and this may require you to hold him off the ground a little bit, and then a shorter release to keep him slow across the jump.

If you were going into the jumper show ring tomorrow I might also suggest that you hold him off the ground a little bit to protect his front end from having rails. As I mentioned above, he is a bit drapy and slow in the front end. Therefore, in order for him to jump clean you might have to hold his front end a little bit off the jumps to avoid have rails - however, as training at home, you probably don't want to protect him all the time, but allow him to hit a few and get a little sharper on his own.

Hopefully this makes some amount of sense - I need to give my trainer more credit - its hard to put these things into words sometimes! :)

49th_parallel
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:56 PM
He's a nice looking horse. I can see why you took a chance with him. I agree with the previous comments about groundwork. He seems to like his job and will likely be good at it. You already know he'll go over the jumps. HE knows what to do at the jumps. So, let that part go for now. He needs to learn how to balance up. IMO, it will only happen with cavaletti/gymnastics. Good luck. He'll be a nice project for someone, if you sell him.

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 04:09 PM
As I mentioned above, he is a bit drapy and slow in the front end. Therefore, in order for him to jump clean you might have to hold his front end a little bit off the jumps to avoid have rails - however, as training at home, you probably don't want to protect him all the time, but allow him to hit a few and get a little sharper on his own.



Makes sense - my original thought was to let go to see if that was why he was being so drapey up front (as in, someone had held onto his face too much when he was started o/f) but I'm thinking that is not working :lol:

And as to my jumping position/slowing my body down...that is EXACTLY why I don't do jumpers. I get all crazy in the jumper ring - it isn't pretty. The faster things come up; the crazier I get. That's why I stick to the hunters - single, outside, diagonal, outside with LOTS of room in between to calm down ;)

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 04:15 PM
He's a nice looking horse. I can see why you took a chance with him. I agree with the previous comments about groundwork. He seems to like his job and will likely be good at it. You already know he'll go over the jumps. HE knows what to do at the jumps. So, let that part go for now. He needs to learn how to balance up. IMO, it will only happen with cavaletti/gymnastics. Good luck. He'll be a nice project for someone, if you sell him.

Thanks :) He really IS a good boy - he's got a lot of power so he's not a super easy ride but like I said, he's not disobedient and he tries really, really hard. But I do have to say, this is the last time I will EVER buy anything already going over jumps. I'll stick with my 3 yr olds - he was just so pretty ;)

Spud&Saf
Oct. 4, 2010, 04:32 PM
What does he do when you try to ride him a little more into the bridle on the flat?

Does he get hot? Does he curl up? Does he toss his head? Does he lift to evade?

To me, it looks like he is just lacking the basic rideability he needs in order to jump better.

I think if you put the time into some dressage work and jumping only carefully thought out gymnastics, he may come a long ways.

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 04:51 PM
When I got this horse, he was so behind the vertical that I could barely touch his face. I spent the first month just flatting him around without bugging him in hopes that he would "uncurl" on his own.

He did. My next goal on the flat is to get him to accept leg. He's very sensitive to leg - you'll notice in the video whenever I put a little pressure on him, he swishes his tail. I've known for a while that he needs to go to flatwork boot camp and I have been doing more with him lately; I've just wanted to take it slow so I don't undo him completely. He's the kind of horse that you work WITH, not force. He gets rather upset if he's drilled.

I'd like to get him going where he accepts seat & leg more; he's a little hard for me to "get around" and he seems to like a lighter seat and if I ride him on the flat in a lighter seat; he goes around nicely without swishing his tail or trying to drag me. However, when we start to jump; I have to go to my seat more and he's reacting too much to it.

enjoytheride
Oct. 4, 2010, 05:02 PM
I don't think his general style with his head and neck up will ever change. I think you can work on it by some serious gymnastic work but I think if he gets excited that will be his default postion. He looks like his style is about as hard to ride as a real back cracker, but I've seen all sorts of horse styles in jumpers and he looks talented.

You do look like you're trying to ride a jumper "hunter" style! I think that if you held more contact at these bigger fences you'd piss him off and he'd gun at it with his head even higher.

I think he's lovely, and he will make someone a wonderful jumper.

dags
Oct. 4, 2010, 06:17 PM
And as to my jumping position/slowing my body down...that is EXACTLY why I don't do jumpers. I get all crazy in the jumper ring - it isn't pretty. The faster things come up; the crazier I get. That's why I stick to the hunters - single, outside, diagonal, outside with LOTS of room in between to calm down ;)

This is hysterical and I totally get it :)

I still feel like he's protecting his back a bit in his jumping style, maybe even in his sensitivity to the leg. It may not be that he's sore - maybe he's just tight and will need lots of loosening up before jumping. Or maybe he's just weak in muscle across his back, and if he builds up some strength through there he'll find it comfortable to use.

Have you free jumped him? That would be interesting to see if he rushes on his own.

Going to 2nd/3rd/4th the cavelletis and groundwork, get him used to rounding his back up, strengthen and stretch what I get the feeling are just too-tight back muscles. Still not seeing a hunter come out of that, but I do think you might see a more comfortable jumping style and a quieter approach.

Trees4U
Oct. 4, 2010, 06:49 PM
Nothing to add but I wanted to comment on what a nice collaborative effort in responses.
Nice teamwork.!

Czar
Oct. 4, 2010, 07:00 PM
This is hysterical and I totally get it :)

I still feel like he's protecting his back a bit in his jumping style, maybe even in his sensitivity to the leg. It may not be that he's sore - maybe he's just tight and will need lots of loosening up before jumping. Or maybe he's just weak in muscle across his back, and if he builds up some strength through there he'll find it comfortable to use.

Have you free jumped him? That would be interesting to see if he rushes on his own.

Going to 2nd/3rd/4th the cavelletis and groundwork, get him used to rounding his back up, strengthen and stretch what I get the feeling are just too-tight back muscles. Still not seeing a hunter come out of that, but I do think you might see a more comfortable jumping style and a quieter approach.

He is probably weak in his muscle as he really didn't have any kind of work until I bought him in August & we've been jumping bigger than he is used to to get an idea of what we have.

Love the free jumping idea - haven't tried him. Maybe I'll video & post it just for comparison's sake :)

Tha Ridge
Oct. 4, 2010, 07:36 PM
Love the free jumping idea - haven't tried him. Maybe I'll video & post it just for comparison's sake :)

I'd love to see it. He's undoubtedly athletic, so I'm wondering if his style/method of attack changes if he's unhindered.

PNWjumper
Oct. 4, 2010, 10:50 PM
If it makes you feel better about whether he'll improve....

A trainer came up to me after watching a 1.40m round on my OTTB at a recent horseshow and said, (and I quote) "I didn't know why you were wasting so much time on that horse when you were jumping him around the 1.15m and 1.20m classes, but WOW, he's incredible at 1.40m!" My point being that sometimes with a scopey horse you do seriously need to get the fences much bigger to "invite" them to jump with nice form.

I used to joke that the fences were so easy for my guy that he wouldn't bother bending his legs. He also had a tendency to get too strung out, to jump over his shoulder, and then, as mentioned, seriously not bend his front legs over big jumps.

I started moving him up the levels at a much faster rate than I normally would with a horse....and that in conjunction with lots and lots and lots (did I say lots?) of dressage, I now have a horse who can properly use his body (when he WANTS to) and he's fantastic over a big course of jumps.

Mac123
Oct. 4, 2010, 11:43 PM
Interesting horse.

The chance of having a horse who has a naturally disconnected jumping style jump cohesively without at least a rudimentary flatwork connection is slim to none. Your horse strikes me as an unconventional type - I don't much like his shoulder - but he can get himself off the ground.

However, he's missing a big chunk of the equation here which is jumping up and around a fence as an extension of his flatwork. Even sensitive horses, or perhaps especially sensitive and slightly bullish horses, must have excellent flatwork. You may not be able to demand it they way you would another horse, and you may have to be more correct and more creative, but this horse needs flatwork. He needs to understand how to engage his hindquarter, loosen his back, stretch out his frame. If he cannot do this at the walk, trot and canter and he doesn't do this naturally over a fence, it is quite unrealistic to expect anything but an awkward effort over a fence.

He moves quite stuck - I actually wondered if he was barefoot for a moment during the video because he moves so mincy. With one who has had bad flatwork in the past it's tempting to just avoid the issue and not do any. But to correct the damage and to make progress, you have to ask him to work, to work correctly, and work hard. Not putting your leg on because he's sensitive isn't teaching him anything other than the fact that he can control how hard you make him work.

Positionally, you really must wait with the body and stop throwing your hands at his ears. :winkgrin: He needs to learn to wait and wrap around the fence, right? Then your body needs to ask him too.

This also goes back to the flatwork connection, though. Right now you both are moving as disjointed beings, not as a cohesive unit. You need to be a part of him, so that when he comes up to a fence you feel him support you through his back and lightly toss you out of the saddle, letting your arms move forward independent of your tall shoulders.

I would be doing a TON of flatwork, cavaletti and gymnastics as well as jumping off a circle over big crossrails. I would love to work with this type of horse...there's a lot to improve and you'd end up with a neat horse. It will take time, though.

PNWJumper has had great success with her horse...and while the bigger fences were sure a part of that equation, so was the flatwork and exercises that she did religiously. And she did a damned good job turning another unconventional type into quite the horse.

49th_parallel
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:11 AM
great feedback, Mac123

just a comment to the OP - I really appreciate how open/willing you are to take in the feedback offered here. It's easy to get defensive, especially when threads get longer and veer off track. Your doing great with this horse.

S A McKee
Oct. 5, 2010, 05:51 AM
There's a no advertising policy on this forum which is why the video I posted does not mention he is for sale but yes, he is not suitable for what I wanted...but I still have to ride him which is why I posted this thread.


Actually at the end of the video when you have the option to replay it does say 'xxxx horse for sale'

I always admire creative attempts to get around the rules.

Czar
Oct. 5, 2010, 07:06 AM
Actually, that's another video. Not the one I posted on this thread.

I am asking for advice on what to do with this horse but I still have to keep the horse for sale. I never mentioned anywhere that he was for sale nor do I think I "advertised" him at all.

Anyway, Mac123 - thank you very much for your post. Love the idea of crossrails on a circle.

I refer him to him as "unorthodox" but yet he still manages to get himself over the jumps. Did I mention he was a trier:lol:

I'm going to take a video of him flatting in his normal bit (loose ring) & post for feedback.

I'll admit; when I choose my projects, I almost always pick 3 yr olds that are quiet, quiet, quiet so the flatwork is easy to put on them & I even try to pick ones with a natural hunter way of going so that the flatwork is more an extension of their way of going instead of asking them to do something different with their body than they are used to. By the time they are 5 and ready for more serious "work", they're used to moving off leg, keeping their head/neck in the same position and accepting contact while using their hindend and that's mostly just from being ridden properly, not "schooling" on flatwork.

dags
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:12 AM
I just had to laugh that this might be a veiled sales ad. I mean, the poor horse is getting thoroughly dissected with every single petty fault pointed out. Soreness to "jumps like a deer" has been used (yikes, both by me - you have done a fab job and requesting and receiving info czar!).

I think anyone with real history here would be smarter than to post a sale video for critique from these masses. They'd find fault, eventually, with Rumba, let alone a more common horse. I believe far more non-veiled sales ads, or links to them from buyers, have been thoroughly trashed rather than championed. Keeping an eye out for these is one of the reasons I'm here every day.

RugBug
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:20 PM
Too many good posts to quote, so I'll just say I agree with the ideas alreayd posted here...especially about more quality flatwork. As dags said, he's mincing along, going nowhere....doing nothing. He's got to be able to lengthen/round his frame on the flat before he's ever going to do it over a jump.



I'm going to take a video of him flatting in his normal bit (loose ring) & post for feedback.


What are you riding him in over fences? I couldn't quite make it out and was questioning if it was some type of gag?

Things I like: While he gets a little quick in front of the fence, he doesn't run off after. This to me suggests he's a little bit worried about the whole jumping thing. He's doing it, but with a "get it over with" attitude. I'd go back to some inviting lower gymnastics and let him figure it out. Gradually raise the jumps and you'll know the point where you need to let him stop to figure things out for a while. I'm guessing you're going to need to go slower with this horse than you'd like. But it will pay off in the end. He's got some talent, maybe not for the hunter ring, but in order to maximize the potential it's going to be a slow road.

I wouldn't hold on to him more to the fences. He needs to learn to stretch and if he was already sensitive about his mouth, more contact is going to make it worse. Work on contact on the flat but don't try to hold him over the jumps. Don't throw him away, those hands to the ears aren't helping, but grab some mane with one hand and just relax. I know I get nervous and flingy when my horse rushes. It only makes matters worse. Grabbing mane keeps me from worrying about getting left if he leaps which in turn keeps me more relaxed.

I find this type of horse both fun and frustrating. I really enjoy figuring out what exercises to do to work on the issues. They always keep it interesting. But it can be so tiresome because progress isn't quick...but if you're methodical and patient, it will come.


(BTW - the suggestion this is a sale ad is hilarious. Most people don't try to sell a horse by laying out its issues for all the world (COTH) to see. I'm guessing those proposing this is a sales ad got busted for posting their own thinly veiled ads and are pitching a 'if I can't, then she can't' fits without really thinking about the content on this thread. :lol:)

fordtraktor
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:20 PM
Another exercise that might be useful is to use placement poles before and after the fence on a tightish distance, 9 or ten feet on takeoff, 11 or 12 on landing. This is often used to sharpen up a hunter right before they go in the ring, but it is often good for horses with poor front end technique as well. Especially the landing side pole can get the horse to learn to use its back in the air and round down, instead of jumping with its head up, because they look at the pole and have to think about what to do with it.

Also, bounces are good for teaching unorthodox jumpers how to use their front ends, because with a bounce they cannot rely solely on power but have to learn to get the front end out of the way. A nice 3' bounce can really sharpen the front on a drapey one. It isn't going to make a hunter out of him, but it might help him keep the rails up and learn how to use the jump he has to good effect.

I agree with the others -- very nice horse. Good luck with him!

Czar
Oct. 5, 2010, 05:58 PM
Also, bounces are good for teaching unorthodox jumpers how to use their front ends, because with a bounce they cannot rely solely on power but have to learn to get the front end out of the way.

Too true - I've always felt this horse simply relies on his power & not on any kind of technique. Interestingly enough, I have done him over a small bounce (2'6") and he felt MUCH different - more backed off and balanced.

I'm riding him in a rubber gag over fences. The loose ring isn't enough bit when we jump courses. Over a few jumps it's fine but when he gets on a roll, he's a lot of horse to keep together.

I had to laugh about the sales ad idea as well:

"Yes, this is my horse. He's for sale. His jump is unorthodox and he routinely drags me to the jumps. Oh, and he doesn't have much flatwork and can be pi$%y at your leg. He's also pretty bullish on the ground." :lol::lol::lol:

RugBug
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:51 PM
I'm riding him in a rubber gag over fences. The loose ring isn't enough bit when we jump courses. Over a few jumps it's fine but when he gets on a roll, he's a lot of horse to keep together.


I thought it was some kind of gag, which is the last thing I would use on this type of horse. You want to encourage him to reach down and out. He's got no problem raising his poll or staying up...so no gag action necessary.

I think it goes back to your flatwork. It doesn't look like you've got a lot of influence over him there...and add jumps and it only magnifies the issues. He needs to be able to tolerate quality flatwork before he will listen o/f.

Czar
Oct. 5, 2010, 07:12 PM
I thought it was some kind of gag, which is the last thing I would use on this type of horse. You want to encourage him to reach down and out. He's got no problem raising his poll or staying up...so no gag action necessary.

I think it goes back to your flatwork. It doesn't look like you've got a lot of influence over him there...and add jumps and it only magnifies the issues. He needs to be able to tolerate quality flatwork before he will listen o/f.

Very true; no bit is going to replace the lack of flatwork the horse has so far but...what would you suggest?

I can "flat" or maybe I should say hack him, in a loose ring. When I start to sit down and ask for him to engage and use my leg to squeeze him up, the loose ring isn't enough.

When I tried him he was in a pelham and was too behind the vertical.

doublesstable
Oct. 5, 2010, 07:44 PM
I agree with most as well, expecially 49__parallel and Mac123, and Rug Bug and dags and trees, and you get the point....

This horse sounds a lot like one of my horses. Moves very similar on the flat expecially the canter work. Has a nice "huntery" canter.....

To me this horse looks tight in the shoulders.... and yes, sorry to say fat. The love of my life horse "was" fat and I finally stood strong and put him on a diet. Knowing I was helping him more that way and interestingly he still looks round and pretty - you would be surprized.

Can you do some stretches with his shoulders? Take his hoof and stretch it gentely forward... have you seen those type of stretches?

Today I set up the equation that was mentioned in another thread:

ground rail 9' out then a x rail 12' out and a ground rail and 9' out and a x rail 12' out and a ground rail 9' out a x rail and 12' out a ground rail

(I only did two x rails and 3 ground rails) to start with and it was amazing. My horse was wonderful. I rode him a bit forward, made sure he was straight and held a supporting position and it was FUN.

Another tip that I found is working for my sensitive mouth, curling headded horse; I put a egg butt mullen mouth and he likes it. Then I have really been focusing on him being forward, balanced in the corners and as we approach the fence; I think soft but I am convincing him it's okay that I hold his mouth a bit... he is now starting to accept it so nicely and take me softly down to the jump. It's hard to explain but I know what it feels like. I don't allow him to build to the jump - build in the turns and chill to the fence. Think soft and holding.. If that makes sense.

Tha Ridge
Oct. 5, 2010, 08:15 PM
What happens if you jump him a loose ring or something quite mild? Have you ever tried? Sort of like the free jumping thing, I'm mostly just curious what he may (or may not) do when given a little more control of the situation.

I'm really intrigued by him... I had a similar horse, but he jumped a lot more hunter-y, so we ended up finding out what worked and he was quite a good hunter in the end. Took lots of flatwork, like others have said, and lots of experimenting with various bits and exercises.

Czar
Oct. 5, 2010, 09:25 PM
What happens if you jump him a loose ring or something quite mild? Have you ever tried? Sort of like the free jumping thing, I'm mostly just curious what he may (or may not) do when given a little more control of the situation.

I'm really intrigued by him... I had a similar horse, but he jumped a lot more hunter-y, so we ended up finding out what worked and he was quite a good hunter in the end. Took lots of flatwork, like others have said, and lots of experimenting with various bits and exercises.

He does the 3 strides where there should be 4 thing.

He doesn't "run away" but I can't set him up at all and he lengthens like crazy. And he still jumps with his head in the air.

I wish I could have seen him when he was first started o/f - I have a feeling he always had a tendency to be bold and drop the shoulder but I also think it could have been improved had it been dealt with immediately.

smileyrileyxoxo
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:44 PM
I know an exercise my trainer does is place a ground rail before ad after the jump, so that its kind of similar to a bounce but with a jump in the middle. The horses get confused at first, but they quickly figure it out and it helps them back off a little. She also done the same in the gymnastics, so that the horses do not rush between jumps .

Mac123
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:59 PM
Very true; no bit is going to replace the lack of flatwork the horse has so far but...what would you suggest?

I can "flat" or maybe I should say hack him, in a loose ring. When I start to sit down and ask for him to engage and use my leg to squeeze him up, the loose ring isn't enough.

When I tried him he was in a pelham and was too behind the vertical.

There's a lot of bits between a loose ring and a pelham. I would begin experimenting with a lot of different bits and see what works for him. My bitting philosophy is that the horse must be comfortable in the bit but he also must respect it. That is, you will never get good work if he is afraid of it or it is uncomfortable for him and neither will you get good work if it is so mild that he does not respond to it.

Personally, I would at least try him in a happy mouth 3 piece 2 ring (ALWAYS with 2 reins). It's a favorite of mine. They are comfortable and happy with the very mild mouthpiece and yet when they get stiff, heavy or forward the bottom rein comes quite in handy. It is very difficult for them to brace against and take over in it. I work with a lot of OTTB racers and steeplechasers and this is a great bit for getting them off the shoulder and rocking back. In fact, it has been tremendously instrumental with 2 recently that I doubted would ever get off their shoulders and stop taking strides out of lines.

You're going to have to make sure you're riding with your leg and not your hand to avoid his neck getting too short, but that's a tact and technique thing.

As an aside, if you "do flatwork" every day, it's not drilling, it's just good riding. Let the hacky stuff be a reward at the end or a once a week stretch sort of thing, but the typical American attitude of not asking them to do anything hard and keeping things easy is really killing them with kindness.....it's a huge part of your problem here. He's not connected, he's not listening, he's not even close to being reachy or engaged, much less round - so why would you expect him to do anything but take over and rush at a fence (his natural inclinations) when you haven't taught him anything otherwise?

He must learn to listen to half halts, accept your aids, carry weight, lift his back, be engaged, etc. etc. etc. before any of that will apply to coursework, and while a bit will help you it will not fix this underlying issue.

He may always be unorthodox....but good flatwork is the foundation for making him much more rideable.

I'm not trying to be harsh, just honest. You seem like you really want to improve him.

Czar
Oct. 6, 2010, 08:08 AM
Thanks again Mac...another great post.

I haven't had this horse long and I was trying to get him to the point where he felt like a normal horse again (taking some contact, going straight, accepting at least holding with my legs) before I started into him about his flatwork. I've jumped him to see where he was and to see what he could do but my plans for the winter were to flat him extensively using poles/raised poles and jump him ONLY over gymnastic exercises.

I think my main question is more of a broad question than one necessarily directed to this horse which I definitely realize needs more flatwork.

I haven't been in the jumper ring much and when I was, it was on a scopey, catty TB who never pulled. A completely different ride. What I really want to know is in general do jumper riders tend to take a feel at the base or like almost everything, does it depend on what type of horse you have?

With my baby hunters, I would start out with a feel for support but of course, none of them had the tendency to build toward a jump. Eventually, I wanted them to jump up nice on their own without any help from the rider so I would "drop" them in front of the jump with my hand.

ETA: I tried a happy mouth elevator on this horse with both reins and he hated it...practically went backwards. I find with the gag, I still have control but he doesn't mind going into it a bit. What I really want to try is a mullen mouth - that's been suggested a few times.

fordtraktor
Oct. 6, 2010, 08:23 AM
I haven't been in the jumper ring much and when I was, it was on a scopey, catty TB who never pulled. A completely different ride. What I really want to know is in general do jumper riders tend to take a feel at the base or like almost everything, does it depend on what type of horse you have?



It depends on your horse. My retired junior jumper I really had to have a hold to the base all the time. If I dropped him at the base, or even released much at all, he would stop.

My next jumper does not care to be ridden with much hand (of course!) so I had to completely change my ride. I ride him with what would be considered reins that are too long with my hands too low, because that is how he likes it and jumps best.

Both of these programs were developed by a grand prix rider who rode for Paul Schockemohle, so not something I made up by the seat of my pants.

Current young horse goes fine with a normal ride. I've practically forgotten how. Sigh.

Try to figure out what is going to work for this horse. But I would NOT just go around holding a horse to the base as a plan of action on a youngster. It tends to be a last ditch effort to increase your placings at shows on an older horse with a confirmed problem, not a training technique unless you have something like said stopper above.

You don't want to have to hold a horse off the jumps, you want the horse to learn to hold himself off the jumps. Even with one that needs it, I would ride them normally at home and maybe hold them off a little at the shows to "help" when the money's on the table -- but not on an everyday basis. Not even in the warmup ring.

That said, I wouldn't be throwing the reins at him either. Just a nice, normal short release with a following hand would be fine.

Madeline
Oct. 6, 2010, 08:31 AM
I like the idea of free jumping him. You've taken enough time that , essentially, he "knows" how to jump. What I would like to see is whether there a point at which he starts to pull his knees up. If bigger fences get those knees coming up (and head going down), you may have a jumper. I know that there have been a few upper level jumpers that do not pull their knees up, but those are truly the exceptional athletes.

He's cute, he's athletic, he is ( as some have mentioned) chubby. But I want to see those knees...

tidy rabbit
Oct. 6, 2010, 03:22 PM
I can see why you wanted him to be a hunter :) Very cute.
....B) something about the film gives me a feeling he's back sore (tail, lack of extension at the trot, seems to fuss when contact is taken up)


I had that same impression.

This video talks about saddle fit and sore backs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp5WBcBqdIE

Nice horse. I hope you can figure out what's bugging him.

Czar
Oct. 6, 2010, 04:18 PM
I had that same impression.

This video talks about saddle fit and sore backs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp5WBcBqdIE

Nice horse. I hope you can figure out what's bugging him.

Maybe being ridden? :lol:

Wouldn't a chiropractor have found he was sensitive though? He's not cold backed at all and actually, today I got on him bareback just to see and he was the same (mind you, I didn't jump him as I think I would have gone flying :lol:).

He's sensitive when I brush him as well - but only in the crossties ;) If I brush him at a show beside a trailer; he suddenly forgets to grouch.

I wouldn't want to rule out any soreness but I want to give a clear representation of this horse. He can be a brute - not mean, but definitely alpha. He was broke as a 5 yr old & his breeder treated him like he was her wittle baby. He was sent to someone who specializes in dealing with horses on the ground before I bought him b/c he was just so darn pushy. He really doesn't like to be told what to do but thankfully, he doesn't put up too much of a fight.

Essentially, he is a 6 yr old Hanoverian who for the first time in his life is being made to work and who has, up til now, intimidated all of his handlers. I think his temperament is even enough that it will work out...just not as easily as it would if he had been started as a 3 yr old like he should have been.

I was just as concerned at first as well when he swished his tail & pinned the ears but after having the chiro out a couple of times and having her say he really isn't sore in the back, I am thinking he is just being a bratty toddler and using that as a way to let me know he isn't happy about having to work. Consequently, he doesn't do ANY of that when we hack ;)